Sunday, July 17, 2016

Break Up and Build Up

UV 2012/10000 Break Up and Renewal
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4 v 16

Sigmund Freud, the psychoanalyst classified the components of human psyche and personality into id, libido, ego and superego. But scripture classifies it into just two components: the outer man and the inner man, the old nature and the new nature in Christ. We put the old nature to death by believing and identifying with the death of Christ on the cross and we renew the new nature by believing and identifying with the resurrection of Christ from the grave. We are not discouraged when the outer man is subjected to afflictions for the spirit of the inner man cannot be harmed or killed. We focus on renewing our inner man, the spiritual nature of man, by feeding on the Word, by prayer which is the equivalent of breathing in the oxygen of hope and faith, by meditating on the love of Christ and discovering its multiple dimensions.

Back in school, when we studied Biology, we learnt of two simultaneous processes operating in all creatures, that of anabolism or the building and replacement of tissues of the body and of katabolism or the break down of cells and tissues. This is the metaphor referred to in the above uni-verse. We need to undergo break down of some strongholds, beliefs, habits, traits, desires of our lives even as we replace these with godly ones. It is a two way process and we can speed it up by our voluntary compliance , zeal and obedience or slow it down by resistance or indifference. It is not a one time filling of the spirit but a daily top up of the Spirit. Our minds and hearts are renewed and transformed even as certain aspects of our minds and hearts are being broken down or replaced.

We renew ourselves in faith, hope and love as we fellowship with each other and worship the Lord in oneness of spirit. Renewal also means that the Lord gives us new strength to handle new challenges and difficulties in our lives. Perishing of the outer man implies that we amputate the source of evil in our lives at the very root. We put a complete end of anything that offends the Lord or grieves the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit renews us, plants the vision in us of the purpose the Lord has for our lives and helps us execute it in terms of concrete plan and steps. Our family is currently on a ninety day training program with a physical trainer who visits us every alternate day and teaches us some exercises for a new set of muscles. In the forty eight hour period before his next visit, our old muscles are perishing and new ones are replacing these. Similarly, we are visited by the Spirit and certain faith muscles are torn down to give scope for it to re-grow stronger, longer and more powerful. While building our bodies, we need to have a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins and fats in addition to the regimen of exercises for various muscles. Similarly, for spiritual build up or renewal, we need a balanced diet of teachings as well as practice of what we are taught every day.

Prateep V Philip

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